Marble stele (grave marker) of a woman

Late Classical
mid-4th century B.C.
Greek, Attic
H. 48 1/16 in. (122 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1948
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 158
This noble image of a woman brings to mind the philosopher Aristotle's description of commonly held beliefs about the dead: "In addition to believing that those who have ended this life are blessed and happy, we also think that to say anything false or slanderous against them is impious, from our feeling that it is directed against those who have already become our betters and superiors" (Of the Soul, quoted in Plutarch, A Letter to Apollonius 27). Larger than life and seated on a thronelike chair, this figure assumes almost heroic proportions.
Found at Acharnae, Menidi, in Attica before 1827

Alexander, Christine. 1949. "An Attic Relief from Lowther Castle." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 7(6): pp. 162–63.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 93, 279, pl. 119b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 79, pp. 53-54, pls. 64, 79e, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1966. The Furniture of the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans. p. 21, fig. 71, London: Phaidon Press.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. Greece and Rome. no. 48, pp. 10, 66-67, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Clairmont, Christoph W. 1993. Classical Attic Tombstones, Vol. 3. no. 2.277, pp. 204-5, Kilchberg: Akanthus.

Jockey, Philippe. 1993. "À propos de quelques fragments de statues féminines drapées retrouvés au cours des fouilles de Délos." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, 117(1): p. 460 n. 130.

Himmelmann, Nikolaus. 2000. "Quotations of Images of Gods and Heroes on Attic Grave Reliefs of the Late Classical Period." Periplous: Papers on Classical Art and Archaeology Presented to Sir John Boardman, Mr. Gocha R. Tsetskhladze, A. J. N. W. Prag, and Anthony M. Snodgrass, eds. p. 142, London: Thames and Hudson.

Milleker, Elizabeth J. 2003. Light on Stone: Greek and Roman Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a Photographic Essay. p. 100, pls. 42-3, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome. no. 161, pp. 143, 435, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.